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Trial Scheduled For Man Shot, Paralyzed During Police Confrontation

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Opening arguments are expected Tuesday morning in the trial of a man who was shot and paralyzed during a traffic stop with Pittsburgh Police.

Police dash cam video captured the police stop in Highland Park in 2012.

Officers pulled over Leon Ford Junior of Shaler for speeding, but officers also believed he may have been someone else who had been arrested before on firearms charges.

Eventually, police ordered Ford out of the car. When he refused, police tried to pull him out. Instead, he pulled away and that led to gunfire.

Ford was paralyzed as result.

At a rally in March, Ford said: “It hurts that this happened to me. It hurts that I have to wake up and realize I’m in a wheelchair every day.”

Ford maintains he drove off because he was scared.

Officers say they thought he was reaching for a gun, but an investigation showed he had none.

Police say Ford hitting the gas put the officers in danger. He is facing aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and resisting arrest charges.

The defense argued at a hearing in July that police procedure wasn’t followed, but the judge ruled that wasn’t enough to throw the case out.

Ford is suing in federal court.

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